Check out my foodie adventures at Foodspotting and Foodgawker

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Most Impressive Tiramisu

The theme for this vegetarian Supper Club was Italian food. *YUM* Dinner was exceptional--oh, I wish you could have been there...

* Caprese salad with imported mozzarella di buffala
* Antipasto salad
* Bruschetta on Crostini
* and.......a gorgeous plate of ravioli hand-stuffed and pressed with butternut squash and topped with shaved truffle cheese, toasted and crushed hazelnuts, parsley and a fried sage leaf:

The ravioli was so delicious, but what really made me swoon was the salty fried sage leaves which brought the flavor of the dish to new heights....My friend, Lindsay, doesn't know it yet, but I plan on shamelessly begging her for the recipe for a Guest Spotlight. You want the recipe, don't you?!

And since I can always count on my supper club friends to go the extra mile when its their time to cook for supper club, I wanted to make something really special for dessert. In addition to bringing a 2003 Chianti Reserva and a white wine called Venetian Moon, I made tiramisu (from scratch) for the first time. It really is an easy dessert to make despite a prevalent misconception that it is a complicated dessert.
Adapted from Food Network's Barefoot Contessa


* 6 egg yolks (room temperature; save the egg whites to make yourself a yummy protein-filled omelette)
* 1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
* 1/2 cup dark rum (I used Myers)
* 1.5 cups cups brewed espresso (if you use a drip coffee pot, use enough water for 4 cups of coffee and 1/2 cup espresso)
* 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
* your favorite dark chocolate bar (to make shavings for garnish)
* 4 Tbsp. powdered sugar (half for whipped cream and half for garnish)
* 1 cup heavy whipping cream
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract (imitation will never live up to the real thing)
* 1 package of 24 Italian Ladyfingers (Savoiardi)


* Whisk egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until thick and creamy.
* Add 1/4 cup of the rum, 1/4 cup of the espresso and all of the mascarpone.
* Whisk until smooth and put espresso cream in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.


* Put the heavy cream, 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla in a bowl.
* Use an electric mixer (or a whisk and some serious elbow grease!) to whip until the cream is stiff enough to form stiff peaks. refrigerate until needed for the top layer.


* Put the remaining 1/4 cup of rum, 1.25 cups of espresso and 1 tsp. of vanilla in a shallow bowl.
* Break ladyfingers in half.
* Dip one side of each ladyfinger in the rum/espresso/vanilla mixture (you do not want to oversoak them!)

Note: If you don't want to discard the remaining liquid (i.e. throwing away perfectly good rum makes you frown), freeze it in ice cube trays and then put them in a glass with some Coke for a roasty, yummy twist on a Rum and Coke!


* If you are using a glass or wine goblet, you will want to put a layer of lady fingers on the bottom and then cover it with espresso cream and then use lady fingers to go around the inside of the glass--gently press it up against the glass so it sticks.
* Repeat layers until you reach about 2 or 3 inches from the mouth of the glass.
* Fill in the rest of the space with whipped cream until it is almost overflowing.
* Use the straight edge of a butter knife to scrape across the top of the glass to make a very flat surface.
* Place glass on a flat surface and use a sifter to cover the top with a fine layer of cocoa powder.
* Use the powdered sugar to make another optional design and/or add chocolate shavings.
* Freeze for 15-20 minutes to let it set together.
* Refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving.
* If you want to use a small glass pan, start with the dipped ladyfingers on the bottom and layer in the same order as above.

Note: Tiramisu will also freeze well if you want to make little individual servings and freeze them for up to 4 or 5 days.

Buon Appetito!

Nota Bene: Whole Foods has an excellent recipe for Vegan Tiramisu.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

From one tea freak to another: LUPICIA

47. Forty-seven. That's how many different flavors of tea I have--in an ever growing, ever evolving beloved collection. teas for different moods. teas for different ailments. teas for different times of the day...

My latest tea obssession is a company called Lupicia...and they make this Muscat black tea is by far one of the best teas I have EVER had...most. perfect. flavor. now that is my cup of tea. ha!

Another favorite (and less expensive) tea company is Adagio. In the first few weeks of meeting my significant other, I had been pretty stressed out with law school finals around the corner...One day I opened my mail to find this pretty green box with an Adagio tea sampler pack of 4 different kinds of teas with a note that said "Here is some tea for relaxation--good luck with finals!" Um, *Swoon!* I have been pretty hooked on their Decaf Blueberry tea...But my favorite thing from Adagio is the sheer genius that is the ingenuiTEA steep pot, which, incidentally I call the tea pee-er, if you will because you steep your loose leaf tea and then place it right ontop of your mug and...well you get the picture... The secret is to buy the sampler pack which comes with a cute little tea pee-er (endless entertainment) and 4 teas for only $19.

What is your favorite tea company and/or flavor?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sundried Blueberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookie

No argument has ever continued once the debaters are given a good dose of cookies and milk. My motto: "Let's have some cookies and milk (soymilk now...) and then let's talk". Next time you find yourself arguing over who was supposed to do the laundry or why he or she was an hour late, give it a try and I am sure you will find yourself giggling with milk mustaches. And no one can be mad at a cute face with a milk mustache. Nope.

I have a weakness for cookies. Don't we all??? Behold: The best commercial/retail cookie out on the market: Sun-dried blueberry and white chocolate chip!
Tom, how do you do it? It is sheer perfection...per-FECTION. No trans fat. No hydrogenated oils. Pure and simple magic. And equally important--I am so glad that you take the initiative and time to tell the world right on the face of your product:

"Be Kind to Animals...Be Kind to Your Community...and Be Kind to Women--Never, ever underestimate the power of a woman. I learned to bake from my mom and grandma, and the women I work with are invaluable. Give all women the respect they deserve and have so rightfully earned...and Be Kind to Yourself..."

Um, Tom, thank you. Let's be friends. I will eat your cookies and let's be friends.

I am also quite enamored with Espresso Chip and the White Chocolate Pistachio one...oh, and the peanut butter cookie in which an entire Reese's peanut butter cup is pressed into the cookie...There are really only a handful of places to get these orgasms fresh (chew on that) aside from ordering them online...and, if you are lucky enough to live in San Francisco, I will tell you a little unpublished, unknown secret....Come a little closer (we cannot tell the whole world or I fear Tom will run out of cookie dough and I won't have any on those tired days when I realllllllly need it...): If you go to the little shop set up in the Food Emporium in the Westfield Center on Market Street, you can buy a dozen lumps of the cookie dough of your choice for only $7.00 (which is much cheaper than the usual $1.75 per cookie price) and you can just as easily bake them yourself at home and--somehow (I don't know how) but somehow they come out perfect every time...and you can never underestimate the power of warm cookies.

Never, people, never.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

Moving into a new apartment inevitably means getting rid of lots and lots of stuff that you have accumulated--from gorgeous shoes that you never wear because they give you painful blisters--but that you keep around because they are, well, mismatched coffee mugs (does anybody really have a full matching set?!) to half empty jars of salad dressing...

So, now that I am delightfully snuggled into my new home, and I wanted to make a salad, of course I don't have any ready-made dressings on hand...So I whizzed this up with things I did have the smarts to keep...and I think you are going to love it--especially because its approaching summer and it is the perfect dressing for a sassy little salad.

I might be the biggest fan of chopped salads that ever lived. And I highly recommend using this vinaigrette with a big, chunky mix of whatever you have on hand: corn, cucumber, tomato, avocado, mango, arugula, watercress, asparagus, etc...



* 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
* 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
* 3 Tbsp. shallots, grated fine (like juicy pulp)
* 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
* 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
* 1/4 tsp. rice wine vinegar
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 Tbsp. honey
* 1/4 cup walnut oil
* 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
* sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste


* Put all ingredients except for the walnut and grapeseed oils in a blender (or food processor) and puree. (If you don't have a food processor or blender, a whisk will work just fine!)
* Slowly pour in the oil until mixture begins to emulsify.
* Add salt and pepper to taste and mix again.